Deeply personal and intuitive, the literary output of the bhakti tradition moves through love and desire, agony and ecstasy, passion and devotion to transcend religion, race, and region.
Mapping bhakti literature from the first century BCE to the twentieth, this anthology covers a large swathe: the early poems to Siva, the compositions of the Alvar poets, the Virashaiva poets, the Varkaris, and the Vaishnava poets to Punjabi songs, the mystic music of the Bauls of Bengal, and Bengali Shakta lyrics. In tune with the eclectic nature of the tradition, this volume captures the depth and diversity of bhakti down the ages, and across languages and cultures. The careful selection of lyrics, the broad canvas of songs, composers and singers, and the evocative nature of the translations give it rare depth showcasing the enduring relevance and beauty of bhakti poetry.
In a beautifully written Introduction, Andrew Schelling takes us through his poetic and scholarly journey of discovery and, in doing so, outlines the historical and socio-literary landscape of the tradition. This collection also includes insightful notes on the poets and translators, providing a more complete picture of their life and work.